Labour productivity and foreign ownership in the UK

Pub. Date
01 September, 1998
Pub. Type

Previous studies have found that in manufacturing foreign-owned companies have a substantial productivity lead over domestically-owned ones, but is the same true in the rest of the economy? We investigate this question using a very large database of company accounts. The answer is yes. After controlling for industrial composition and other factors, foreign ownership was found to raise productivity by about a third in non-manufacturing. The foreign productivity lead, which is about the same over UK subsidiaries as over UK independents, can very largely be explained by higher capital per employee and a more skilled labour force.